Aug 23, 2016

Japanese Comfort Food - Gyudon (Beef and Rice Bowl) for Two

If you ever had Yoshinoya, a Japanese fast food chain that can also be spotted in some locations in the United States, especially CA and NV, then you'll know what gyudon is. Steamed white rice topped with tender beef and onion slices. While the soy sauce provides the saltiness, you can also taste a combination of sweetness from the mirin, onion, and beef fat. 

The best way to serve it, in my opinion, is to top the gyudon with a raw egg yolk. The creaminess of the yolk rounds up all the sweet and savory flavors. Besides, kind of like bacon, egg yolk also makes things better.

Gyudon with egg yolk - 

Ingredients (for two)?

  • 20 t0 24 beef slices
  • 1 onion
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese rice cooking wine 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Small pinch salt
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • Some steamed white rice
  • Some toasted white sesame seeds
  • Some mizuna as garnish (optional)


Peel and slice the onion.

Drizzle some olive oil to the pan and turn to medium high heat. Add in salt and pepper.

Stir once a while and cook till the edges of the onion slices turned slightly browned.

Pour in soy sauce, mirin, Japanese rice cooking wine, and sugar. Stir a little. Bring to a boil then lower to medium heat, keep it at a simmer for couple more minutes.

Add in the beef slices one by one, do not dump all the beef slices at once. Cook till about 90% doneness, taste and adjust the flavor with soy sauce if needed.

To serve the gyudon, scoop some steamed rice to a serving bowl then pour in the beef mixture. Create a shallow center by pushing the toppings outward. Sprinkle some toasted white sesame seeds and chopped scallions first then finish the dish with a raw egg yolk in the center.

Garnish with mizuna or other fresh leafy greens on the side if preferred. 

This might not sound as a classic combination but adding some pickled daikon on the side pairs nicely with this beef and rice bowl. 

Other donburi/rice bowl recipes:

Aug 17, 2016

Cooking Taiwanese Ingredient - Fu Cai, or Pickled Semi-Dried Mustard Greens

Mustard greens, kai choi, or jie cai, this versatile leafy green for sure comes with many names, but the variations do not stop there. Pickled mustard green is called "suan cai/酸菜." When further semi-dried it's called "fu cai/福菜," and when fully dried it's called "mei gan cai/梅干菜."

I'm just as confused as you are. 

If you ever come across this ingredient, usually in vacuum sealer bag at a Chinese grocery store, don't be afraid and give it a try. Even if you have mistaken other variations with fu cai, it won't matter much with the recipe below. Most likely you'll still end up with no fuss and flavorful food that goes well with steamed rice and dry noodles. 

We all need to venture out once a while right? Just like me with tamarind and bacalhau.

Steamed ground pork with pickled semi-dried mustard greens 福菜蒸肉 -


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup rinsed, dried, and finely chopped fu cai
  • 1 stalk scallion (stemmed and chopped)
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Small pinch black pepper
  • Some sesame oil


Remove the fu cai from the vacuum sealer bag. Rinse and pat dry with kitchen towel. Remove the very bottom stem if necessary since this part might be tough to chew on. Finely chop the fu cai and set aside for later use.

Use a medium sized bowl or a deep plate, add in all the ingredients except for the sesame oil. Do not add too much soy sauce, it's only for the color and extra aroma. 

Blend well and gently press down the mixture to flatten the surface. 

Steam for 25 to 30 minutes. Once ready, wait till cool enough to handle the container by hand. 

Serve the steamed fu cai pork as it is. You can also pour the juice to another bowl then cover the mixture with a big plate. Quickly and carefully invert the whole thing so the pork mixture now lies on the plate instead. Pour back the juice and drizzle some sesame oil.

You can also sprinkle some more black pepper and finely chopped scallion before serving. 

Other steamed food recipes: